As the Catholic Church continues to suffer attacks from within and without, today’s feast to such an important defender of the Faith comes at a crucial and much needed time for contemplation and reflection.
One of the contribution that St Gregory made to the Catholic Church was a musical one, “the cantus planus” or what we now call Gregorian Chant. Unfortunately today many see such a glorious chant as boring or unnecessary in their Catholic lifestyle. What such people fail to realize is that such hymns were composed at a time of struggle for Christian Europe; a time of plagues and invasions, thus they serve as a reminder of where we came from, our history and identity. It is also safe to say that as Catholics it is our obligation to love such reverent of music after all the saints throughout the ages had sung it as well. Even the apostles sung as Matthew chapter 26 verse 30 informs us: “When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mountains of Olives.” Thus let us never forget what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said when he praised Gregorian Chant as being: “of huge value to the great ecclesial heritage of universal sacred music.”
For this part of the article I would like to quote from Fr Peter J Stravinskas excellent article on such a matter: “Pope Gregory’s program was really quite simple: To return to the people of Rome a sense of sin and a sense of the sacred. He was indefatigable in pursuing both goals. His writing and preaching on the moral life were insightful and engaging; he also enlisted the assistance of his fellow Benedictines to raise the moral level of what had become a sewer of debauchery, not only by words but also by the witness of their lives. At the same time, he endeavored to return to his clergy and laity alike the lost sense of the sacred. He understood in his time what his successor of 14 centuries later, John Paul II, has stressed in our time: “A very close and organic bond exists between the renewal of the Liturgy and the renewal of the whole life of the Church. The Church not only acts but also expresses herself in the Liturgy and draws from the Liturgy the strength for her life.”
On Harming the Church
St Gregory the Great once wrote: “No one does more harm in the Church then he who has the title of rank of holiness and acts perversely.” An excellent quote said by a saintly pope, who defended the Church from those who abused their power either internally or externally, a Doctor of the Church who nearly bankrupted the Vatican coffers after giving so much to the poor but enriched the Church by way of tradition and holy piety. St Gregory, Doctor of the Church, Defender of the Faith defend us as we battle the modern heretics and those who seek the Church’s destruction!